The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Brewing a Culture: How College Students Embrace Coffee


On a Signal Instagram poll, Stan State students said coffee is the most important part of their coffeehouse experience. 

Coffee culture is big among Stanislaus State students. Colder weather has arrived, and it seems like every other person on the Turlock campus is carrying around a cup of coffee. There are always lines of students out the door of popular local spots, ready to place their favorite coffee order. If you’re looking for a caffeine fix, you have plenty of options.

From big chain coffee shops to local businesses, there’s no shortage of places to get your coffee fix. But what qualities from these coffee spots are most important to Stan State students?

The atmosphere of a coffee shop can make all the difference. Of course, the coffee itself is also important. Students seem to be more knowledgeable than ever about the different brewing methods and bean varieties and are looking for new orders that can provide them with the best cup of joe. 

Ariana Espinoza, a fourth year English major at Stan State, has work experience as a barista and provided her knowledge of coffee. She explained that between the types of coffee roasts and different ways to make coffee, the diversity of it all is what she most appreciates.

“Coffee is an art,” she said. 

Espinoza drinks a cup of coffee every morning, an experience that has turned into a ritual for many Stan State students and faculty. But does this daily habit indicate a dependence on coffee? Espinoza argues that it does.

“We’ve become dependent on coffee, not necessarily in a bad way,” she said. ”I think coffee is just another important thing for us to gather around, like we have food.”

Of course, the coffee students are most familiar with is at the on-campus Starbucks location at the University Student Center. Its convenience and popularity is unmatched, and the compact space will often leave you having to use the exit door as an entrance. Luckily, people can beat the line with Boost Mobile, a mobile app allowing Stan State students to place their orders and quickly pick up a drink before studying. 

Dutch Bros Coffee is also a corporate coffee chain serving the Stan State community. Previously featured by The Signal, the Monte Vista location is across the street from campus but is strictly pick-up and drive-thru only. To those who prefer indoor seating alongside their coffee, there are also a lot of independent coffee shops that are popular among students.

The local coffee scene is bustling with activity. Adults of all ages can be found enjoying a cup of coffee and studying, socializing or just taking a break from their busy day. The atmosphere present at these cafes are casual and relaxed, providing college students a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of campus life.

Old Tyme Pastries is a bakery shop on Geer Rd. In addition to their selection of pastries and sweets, an espresso bar is available for customers to order coffee. Owner Terri Coonce talked about his experience with serving college students.

“I do notice a lot more college kids coming in and studying because we have free WiFi now,” she said. 

Coonce has noticed that in the past five years, more college-aged people have been visiting the shop, in part due to the cafe. In an estimate of college customers, Terri approximates about 25-30% are college students. 

Drinks available include glaciers, Old Tyme’s answer to the Frappuccino. Upcoming holiday drinks include peppermint glaciers, peppermint mochas, and eggnog lattes. The shop has large indoor seating, as well as a patio outside. The many customers and the smell of fresh baked goods is said to make for a widely appealing atmosphere.

Another popular shop in town is located in the heart of the city. La Mo Cafe is a bistro and coffee shop located next to its parent La Mo Restaurant on Main St. Tucked away in downtown Turlock, La Mo Cafe offers Latin-inspired dishes and coffee. The Iced Mocha includes a topping of cocoa powder. Indoor and outdoor seating is available to patrons, as well as the ability to order ahead from their website. The shop’s identity with downtown is unmistakable, marking a unique atmosphere for the cafe spot.

Alison’s Cafe House on W. Canal Dr. is another hot destination for coffee enthusiasts. Manager Kelsey Wagner expressed how much the shop prides itself on its offering of specialty coffee drinks.

“We definitely never turn down somebody,” she said. “If they are like ‘I’m sorry, I have this crazy idea,’ we’re like, ‘no, please give us your crazy ideas. Like, that’s what we’re here for’.”

Kelsey’s enthusiasm is backed by their menu, which includes colorful drink names such as “Heavenly JumpStart” and “Smore’s Gone Wild.” As well, the walls inside the store are adorned with art pieces and the coffee bar is decorated according to the season.

Wagner described what makes a good coffee.

“I feel like you have to care about what you’re doing,” she said. “You care about it and you want it to be good. And that’s the secret.”

Alison’s Cafe House offers a 10% discount to students with a Warrior ID as part of the Warrior Discounter program. The indoor and outdoor seating areas are welcoming and its drive-thru is also a plus for drinkers on-the-go. 

It’s become clear that there’s more to the coffee craze than just the caffeine fix. For many students, the coffee shop is a place to socialize, study or just take a break from the hectic pace of college life. No matter what type of coffee shop you frequent, it’s clear that students value comfort and productivity. In many ways, coffee shops have become a second home for college students.

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Brewing a Culture: How College Students Embrace Coffee